Friday, August 05, 2005

What is God's Love? p2

Series of 1Corinthians 13:4-13
part 1 | part 3


Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Love is one of the most important evidences that we humans did not evolve from a primordial soup. We are most definitely created in God's image of mind, body and spirit. How can one learn to love? Indeed it is not possible nor can it be. Love is an inherent gift, given to all of mankind from the Creator God (Jesus).

There is no doubt of this because we evidence love unto our own being, alway. Is this not true in your own relative experience? Think about this. Do you really love me? The person who does not know me, do you really love me and would you actually die for me? I am sure that a few brave and pious souls would stand up and say they would die for someone they love. Honestly, I believe them and as well, I would die for a friend or loved one. I am sure most ordinary people would do this for those whom they love. After all, we all possess love, do we not? Yet my question is: would you really die for me, right now, this very minute, in the most cruelest of ways, tortured and beaten beyond recognition, at the hands of those who would love to offer you anguish and grief, through the agony of suffering? I am confident that most of you reading this would never consider such treatment unto your fellow man. The sad truth is however, that there are many people in this world who are this way. So again, I ask you: what is love to you in your relative experience, from our relative existence with each other?
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. (13:4 KJV)
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful.
(NLT)
I feel many people today have a misunderstanding of what love really means. While we fundamental Christians claim to the world that God is love, we may not appear to have any love ourselves, and yes, sometimes this does seem true. I hear many people these days who profess all sorts of faiths and beliefs, quoting the words of Jesus Christ, yet rejecting His words as absolute divine truth, claiming:
"I just love this passage or verse, it is so beautiful and full of love. But I do not believe Jesus is God. He is only another great prophet, only one path to follow among many."
Who could argue the simple truth that all of Jesus' words are beautiful and worthy of human contemplation, from our deepest consideration? Yet what is love to you really? Is it subjective to your own personal life, saying to yourself, "I care, really I do, yet there are just so many people in the world"? True is it not? Where is the love of this world? What is love to those who are apathetic or who reject our love towards them for no apparent reason? Have you ever met a person such as this? Have you ever been rejected or ridiculed? Have you ever been deeply disappointed? Have you ever been so saddened by the loss of those whom you truly loved, either through death, or just from the circumstances of life? That deep hurt of loss and sadness, deep within the bowels? The Apostle Paul used the word bowels in the epistle to the Philippians. It is a misunderstood word today and from our modern English, does not represent the original intended meaning, such a Paul used in Philippians 1:8:
For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
In the bowels. This is to say, from the gut. Something you feel physically from perceiving thought, resulting in action or movement. This is to say that thought has equated to a bodily sensation. Consider it like this: your house is on fire and your mind reacts. The mind can do nothing for you when the body is attached. The mind cannot move itself across the way into safety. The mind can only react and cause the feet and legs to prepare to run. Our minds, in a flash, calculate the entire possible scenarios of actions, just like a super-computer, and then suddenly, in an instant, the feet start moving. Soon the legs follow and before you know it, you are leaning towards the exit, pushing now with your legs, running for your life.

The bowels. This means to feel it in your body, below the collar bone, encompassing the chest, the gut, resulting in reflex and motion, the heart pumping, the muscles tightening, breathing is affected. I know what you're thinking; you're thinking, "bowels, what the heck is this guy talking about?" As stated from the beginning of this message, humanity could not have evolved from a primordial soup, and the most obvious evidence of this fact are our emotions our feelings, as our physical senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch, cannot be taught, emotions and feelings. These are inherent to the human soul, and confirm that we are indeed, created in the image of God.

So again I ask you to consider: what is love? What is love to those who show no love or concern towards us, in our own personal relative experience? I am certain that most of us have experienced these very people in our lives and we all have, at one time or another, been deeply hurt by a person we knew well and trusted. Yet, according to God's word, love never fails and is enduring and perfect. God is love and perfection. This is called holiness. Are you perfect or holy? Indeed it is evident we are not. No, not even one. The Bible confirms this fact and it is evidenced in our own lives... in real time. The word of God is amazing in this simple truth.
[Love] doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. (13:5 KJV)
Love is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.
(NLT)
Many people guide their judgment based on feelings and emotions. Yet these feelings are another paradox of our human condition, the outward display of our emotions and feelings. These emotions could neither have evolved nor just sprang into existence as we are emotional beings. Who taught us to be emotional? These words of the irritable, resentful and unseemly, are words of human feeling through reaction of our inner thoughts and not what our actions seem to be or may be actually demonstrating. These words describe the heart's condition through our inner thoughts and desires, revealing to the world our true inner self. Do you truly reveal your inner thoughts and desire to those around you? God sees all thoughts of our heart's desire.

Do people truly display that which is in their inner heart? I believe for the most part, most people will leave those dark places closed, not wanting to reveal their true intentions and thoughts, whether it be simple selfishness or a true desire to harm another either mentally or physically. The prisons are full, the grave yards are dug, and the words have all been nearly spoken. Mankind cannot love itself as a whole and man can only attempt to love those who are his own. Even this is not always a truth as families and friends burst into anger or revenge, as pride takes over satisfying only our true desires and intentions. Indeed we love only those who love us and Jesus mentioned this clearly, without using parables (Matt 5:46).

Put another way, this is the pure description of what Hell actually is and why it is such a destruction to the soul. We are able to witness this type of understanding in our relative lives. Jesus died so that no person would ever go to this place, separated from His perfect love through judgment of sin and wickedness, as all things will be made pure and true, and as all things will be manifested in the love which we have displayed from our inner hearts. God will reveal all that is secret and make known the love we have shown others and as well, that which we have not shown and have kept hidden, not betraying our true hearts. No person can peer into the depths of a darkened or troubled soul, the darkened hearts of a fallen and sinful being in rebellion against God and His will, seeking that which only satisfies himself as only to comfort and please himself. God will reveal the self-serving, the pious religious do-gooders, the humanists, the uncaring, all those who reject His authority by placing individual thoughts and emotions first. These are those who are blinded to truth and in the end they would not listen to God and judge their own hearts here on earth.

God is patient and willing that all people will come to repentance. His patience will not last forever as this is the record of Israel. Can you not evidence these truths even unto your own relative experience in life? Are you selfish? Who taught you to be this way? Some may think this is a harsh judgment and it is unbecoming of a Christian to speak in such a way. But friends, all I have actually done is judge myself by looking into my own heart. Am I really any different than you?
Selfishness, a vice utterly at variance with the happiness of him who harbors it, and, as such, condemned by self-love. --Sir J. Mackintosh.
Unseemly To have (hold) possession of the mind (refers to alarm, agitating emotions, etc.), to hold fast keep, to have or comprise or involve, to regard or consider or hold as. (1)
Irritable Abnormally sensitive to a stimulus. Capable of responding to stimuli. Susceptible of anger or passion; easily inflamed or exasperated.
Resentful Marked by resentment or indignant, ill will. Inclined to resent; easily provoked to anger; irritable.
Arrogant Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.
Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others. Synonym: proud.
Rude In a natural, raw state. Middle English, from Old French from Latin rudis meaning rough or unformed. In the NT, an unlearned, illiterate man as opposed to the learned and educated.

The Apostle Paul describes these words in a way that we can see how our inner hearts react to our thoughts and understandings in our natural state of sin and disobedience to God. Prideful and without knowledge, driven by our personal desires, our feelings and emotions. Human love is self-centered, and who can know the depths of the human heart when it is in rebellion to God, living in sin and wickedness according to the word of God? What is sin to you? God simply declares that sin is unbelief in His word and His commandments as written through the revelation of His divine word and as given to all mankind for us to know of Him and His ways. Who has heard the voice of God and can declare what He wants and what sin is? Indeed, as the old saying goes "who are you to tell me anything". This is humanism in its finest form of relativism. This is to declare I will or I believe... (2)

Have you ever felt like telling someone off? Have you ever felt the sadness of a person you know who is troubled and in need? Have you truly liked a person and yet they rejected you because of a misunderstanding or false judgment, unable to reconcile or forgive? We have all experienced these ranges of emotions and feelings. We all are guilty of ignoring others, avoiding more problems and not wanting to take the time and effort needed to show another their importance and worth to humanity or toward ourselves, rationalizing that another will do these things for those who are in need. Still others do these things only to be seen in public, so as to show their worth or goodness. Still others do these things willingly, for they know the needs of others and are able to feel this need within their own hearts and minds.

Who has taught us how to use these feelings and emotions? This is about as close to spiritual understanding as we humans will ever achieve through our personal efforts. We are created in the image of God in mind, body and spirit. A triune being. Imagine that for just a moment, created in the image of love! Yet we are told through scripture that our spirit is dead and that none, no not one, can know anything of the spiritual, for we are flesh and that which is flesh is flesh, that which is spirit is spirit, and these two are irreconcilable in this time and space (John 3:6). One day, His Kingdom will come to earth as God has declared this truth. His love demonstrates our purpose for life and the gift we have received, revealed through the work of the Lord Jesus. All mankind has witnessed these truths, even unto our own relative experiences.

What is love to you then as you walk past the destitute and forgotten? As you read of those who have nothing and yet know others who willingly will spend $8,000 for a Super Bowl ticket? Others buy the latest fashions so they may look their best or purchase the nicest cars so as to please themselves and satisfy their own personal comforts along with the image of success. Others will do all they can to look young and beautiful, truly the loneliest of all vanities, indulging in the pleasures of this world because it satisfies the human soul to be content and full, young and beautiful with success, and declaring they are on top of the world having created their own reward.

This then is human love and wisdom, making life pleasing and comfortable because we deserve it and no matter what, we will be satisfied. Are you truly a person of such love that you have attained fulfillment through perfection? I know I have not and know that no matter what I attempt or have achieved already, I could never attain perfection from perfect love that is justified from my own personal feeling and emotion and my will be done. What is love to you then? Is it based upon feeling and emotion, an important human quality that sets us apart from God's creation? I say that all people are flawed in this regard of perfect love and cannot push beyond this time, space and matter that we reside in, that which we call existence or life.

We humans will never know anything of the spiritual world while we remain sinful beings, unloving and selfish, thinking only of our own personal welfare and desires and not that of others. What we do in public is not the basis of judgment that God will use to determine whether or not we may enter into His perfect Kingdom, created for those who choose to honor and worship Him through the demonstration and record of His love and mercy towards His crown creation, mankind.

Jesus said: "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." Are you able to do this as Jesus did, to those who broke His body? Friends, that is perfect love. Willingly laying down His life, to those who were brutal and violent, and so brutality and violence would see their end and destruction, never to be known again other than as the things of the past which are forgotten and, as sin, are removed: Behold all things are new.

This is God's love, demonstrated to mankind by the Lord Jesus, willingly and without arrogant pride nor judgment of those who rejected Him willfully though emotion and feelings of hate and bitterness. Jesus the man willingly gave, as this was His purpose on earth for all of mankind to know and understand. The human race is a fallen creature, sinful and unable to love one another in perfect judgment, treating others as we would do unto ourselves.

Yet we humans possess this capacity of selfishness, our true inner hearts' desires. Love is not determined by how we humans act towards life and circumstance. Indeed, love is the determination of how we react to life and circumstance, deep from within the bowels of our hearts, towards our fellow man and our service towards one another, balanced in truth, wisdom and understanding. These are God's gifts of love, given to any who desire, to seek a new life and live through the Lord Jesus Christ as He delivers us to a perfect Kingdom, through the Holy Spirit, passing through death and unto the Kingdom that has been prepared for us from the foundations of the world.

Part 4 and 5 of this series will demonstrate how Jesus reveals His judgment of perfect love, separating the sheep from the goats (the nations) at the end of the great tribulation period and bringing into His Kingdom for those who will go into it (Matt 25:32-34). This is not our eternal judgment at the great white throne (Rev 20:11). That will be the time when all people, great and small, will be judged according to what their true intentions and motives were and why those choices were made and how our love was demonstrated to others within our own goodness, reviewed in the presence of a holy God and balanced through perfect love and judgment of sin. Will you stand there in the presence of Jesus and reveal your heart when you cannot even do this today? The Bible declares, renew the mind and seek truth.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
Friends, humanity will never achieve this type of love on its own merit or effort, nor do we even have this capacity. This part of humanity is completely and utterly dead as the Bible describes and that we can witness this very moment unto our own relative lives. Have you not yet understood these simple facts as you look around your world and see that things are not right and that evil is present as sin abounds, with no regard at all of God's laws and covenant?

That is why I chose to be a child of God, being re-born again unto life through my Lord and King Jesus Christ. He demonstrated His love for us long before we ever loved Him. This is true love. Service to others and of their needs above that of ourselves, willingly and with charity. God will manifest our true selves in that Kingdom to come, which He will create for us here on earth near the ending of the time of great destruction, caused by humanity and brought about by our own human selfishness, revealing that mankind is in total rebellion of God seeking only personal desires and self-interests.

God has declared why He will do these things for those who choose to follow Him and do His will on earth as in heaven. This is the divine promise made to those who choose to live in God's presence because we heard the call and understood His ways by looking at our own hearts and comparing our ways according to His word. This is the blessed hope that we Christians look forward to in this life, as we have true meaning and purpose, knowing that what we see in this world of today is not what God has promised, but that which only man has created through selfishness and personal interest desiring to please ourselves in the here and now because we have only one life to live, so we better live it up. This is the very definition of humanism for eat drink and be merry, because tomorrow we will be dead. No hope and only death, as the Biblical record verifies this truth as well.

Secular humanists have all said that God and eternity is only a pie-in-the-sky, only a dream of intellectual philosophy from the human mind, driven from theological interpretations of how humanity finds or reaches God. Secular humanists declare that Christianity is the human need to hang on to hope, so humans have purpose in a world that seems to have no common purpose or understanding, only an evolving human existence, survival of the fittest, only the collective and not the individual. Our modern day headlines and news stories are replete with this type of love.

Humanists claim that life is the "here and now" and that we will bring forward a peaceful utopia, realizing our hopes and dreams, a human brotherhood through peace and safety by eliminating religious bigotry and spiritual nonsense as only dreams of thought from the human imagination. Friends, humanity remains at war and conflict with itself, demonstrating that mankind cannot love one another nor will mankind on its own effort ever bring forward a perfect kingdom by its own hand, as humans have as of yet in all of human history, not finding even just one example of human benevolent rule, through perfect love and eternal understanding.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? Matthew 25:37-39
[Love] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (13:6 KJV)
Love does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. (NLT)

Have you ever been wrong and rejoiced in it, knowing you were wrong but convincing yourself you were right? How did you learn to be so deceptive as this, even convincing your own mind yet knowing you cannot because now you have guilt? Do you love your neighbor really and truly, your boss or co-workers? Do you love the person you saw on the evening news or in the newspaper, mugged, robbed and beaten with such cruelty, enough to go visit them at the hospital or inquire as to how to help them if at all possible? I must admit myself I am guilty of not doing these kinds of good works for others in their time of need. I don't even know them really. Is it fair to be guilty of this and am I my brothers' keeper, even if they are unrelated to me? I say to myself, "Lord, there are so many people, so many. How could it be possible for me Lord?" Would you be willing to stop by their homes as to offer help and comfort? It does sound so unpractical, doesn't it? Is love something that is only relative to our own selves and families or friends? If this is true, then how could those who love you and those whom you love, how could this be relative, yet experienced by the many same people simultaneously, each expressing his or her own love? What is love to you, friend? Is it only for those whom your love? The Lord Jesus said to this:
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:46-48
You see, our emotions and feelings cannot be relative to our own selves. Why is this? It is simple, friends; it is because we all have love and we all express it in our own unique way. Why is it unique? It is so because we are unique and created, all of us, in God's image. And God is love, yes?
[Love] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (13:7 KVJ)
Love bears all things? It is very interesting how the Apostle Paul framed these words. Love bears all things. When describing love, the apostle Paul has stated that love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful. This word "patient" is very interesting. It means:
enduring without protest or complaint, enduring trying circumstances with even temper or characterized by such endurance.
It is now possible to see why we are called patients when we require medical care or a surgery and long recovery. Patient is Middle English and originates from Old French pacient, from Latin patins: Patient is a present participle meaning, to endure. The Indo-European root meaning: passion, fervor, fire, zeal, ardor. A powerful emotion such as love, joy, hatred, or anger. These nouns denote powerful, intense emotions.
Passion is a deep, overwhelming motion.
There is not a passion so strongly rooted in the human heart as envy. ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Fervor is great warmth and intensity of feeling.
The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal. ~William James

Fire is burning passion.
In our youth our hearts were touched with fire. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

Zeal is strong, enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance.
Laurie [resolved], with a glow of philanthropic zeal, to found and endow an institution for women with artistic tendencies. ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1869

Ardor is fiery intensity of feeling.
...the furious ardor of my zeal repressed. ~Charles Churchill

So we find that "patient" means "endurance." It is used as a present participle. This little word "present participle" is very interesting and simply means expressing present action. In English it is formed by the infinitive plus "ing" and used to express present action in relation to the time indicated by the finite verb in its clause, to form progressive tenses with the auxiliary "be" and to function as a verbal adjective. Enduring means an ongoing action.

We find that love is patient and enduring, just as the Apostle Paul described nearly 2000 years ago in the original Greek, yet confirmed this very minute by our relative experience, whatever that may be to us, in our modern day English. It is clear to see the root of this word coming from the Indo-European meaning of "passion" and "zeal". These two words are used throughout the Bible describing God's love and His Word for all of mankind, His crown creation in His image. God describes His love as patient and enduring, passionate and zealous.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (13:8-9 KJV)
As for prophecies, for tongues, for knowledge... these things represent that which is relative to the human experience. Prophecies are for a time and place, an event[s] to come. Tongues represents language and is truly the one single evidence that separates humans from all creation. No other creation of God uses language as its formalization of our mind, body and soul. Knowledge is simply information. There is no human that cannot know or understand something that another has done as there are no superior humans.

The Apostle Paul used these words for specific reasons. These human words show to us how God's love will last forever, yet these things shall all pass away one day yet to come. This too is another form of evidence that life will end in death at some point in time with all people and things. This as well is evidenced through scientific facts of Thermal Dynamics as the ultimate breakdown of all things. These are God's universal laws, that are set in perfection and order, balanced by love through judgment. All of us can witness these things in real time and be confident that all things do pass away, yet love will last forever. This is truly beautiful when understood, as given to us through the Holy Bible. Indeed remarkable as no human could ever write such a book from their own personal, relative experience. This too is another simple fact which demonstrates that God's Word is evidential truth revealed unto itself... A Triune Revelation.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
For knowledge and prophecy is imperfect, but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. (NLT) (13:10 KJV)

When the perfect comes... Sounds like something out of the Lord of the Rings, does it not? "The Perfect." This word simply means; "lacking nothing essential to the whole."

We will find as we close this first article that patience and endurance are the definition of what God is, what God is made of, love. He is the essence of these things and this is perfection. Indeed, it is a gift of God that we know Him personally and understand His purpose, His will for our lives. God has a will and purpose for all of us and wishes that we carry forward and do these things. Yet for the vast majority of people, they will never see anything past that which pleases them, convinced that they know what lies beyond time and space. This is total blindness and God has warned all of us sufficiently. The question is are you listening to what He has to say? It is my hope that you do. I did, friends.

In Part Two we will finish these verses and look at what they mean and how they apply to Jesus and His passion and to our relative experience. The following is a brief look at the past root history of this word, "perfect," and what the original, intended meaning is and how this applies today in our modern English.
Perfect
Complete of its nature or kind, without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen. Proficient, completely suited, corresponding to a description, standard, or type. A perfect circle, Complete, Thorough, Utter, Pure, Undiluted, Excellent, Delightful in all respects, A Perfect Day.
Grammar Of, relating to, or constituting a verb form expressing action completed prior to a fixed point of reference in time.
Music Designating the three basic intervals of the octave, fourth, and fifth.
Perfectness Synonyms: perfect, consummate, faultless, flawless, impeccable.

These adjectives mean being wholly without flaw: a perfect diamond; a consummate performer; faultless logic.

Usage Note: Some people maintain that perfect is an absolute term like chief and prime, and therefore cannot be modified by more, quite, relatively, and other qualifiers of degree. But the qualification of perfect has many reputable precedents, most notably in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution in the phrase “in order to form a more perfect Union'. By the same token, perfect often means “ideal for the purposes,as in 'There could be no more perfect spot for the picnic', where modification by degree makes perfect sense.
Absolute, Equal, Unique
From Old French parfit From Latin perfectus
past participle of
perficere, to finish
Indo-European Root To set, put Derivatives include: deed, doom, fashion, defeat, sacrifice, satisfy, face, synthesis
Basic form thing laid down or done, law, deed. deed;
Old English doing, deed
Suffixed form bibliotheca
from Greek receptacle
from Old Persia to place.
Suffixed form set down, created.
Suffixed o-grade form abdomen from Latin abdmen, belly, abdomen.
Suffixed o-grade form judgment (thing set or put down)
from Old English abstract suffix indicating state, condition, or power.
Germanic source akin to Gothic, judgment; deem.
Old English to judge.
Germanic denominative.
Zero-grade form from Latin: condere, to put together, establish, preserve: fact, fashion, edify, efficient,justify, perfect, proficient, sacr ifice, satisfy, suffice, sufficient.
ETYMOLOGY Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praefectus, from past participle of praeficere, to place at the head of : prae-, pre- + facere
from Latin facere, to do, make.
combining form Maker, Divine Law
(3)
(1) The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon
(2) Isaiah 14:13-14 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
(3) Indo-European Root

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